Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Louise Burckhardt)



One of the artist's acquaintances in Paris was Valerie Burckhardt and her younger sister, Charlotte Louise (1862–1892), daughters of the Swiss merchant Edward Burckhardt and his American wife, the former Mary Elizabeth Tomes. Sargent painted several portraits of the Burckhardt family between 1878 and 1885, including this full-length portrait of Charlotte Louise that he dedicated to her mother and submitted to the Paris Salon in 1882 as "Portrait of Mlle ***." By his choice of pose and palette, Sargent probably had in mind portraits by Velázquez that he has seen in Madrid in 1879. Charlotte married an Englishman, Alfred Roger Ackerley, on September 24, 1889, in Paris. She became ill two years later, perhaps with tuberculosis, and died after a long illness. The portrait remained in the possession of her family until bequeathed to the Museum by her sister Valerie.

Born January 12, 1856 to American parents, John Singer Sargent would go on early in life to be trained in Paris. A prolific artist, Sargent created some 900 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolors and countless sketches during his career, and came to be hailed as "the greatest portrait painter of his generation." His commissioned portrait work gravitated heavily towards grand manner portraiture (heavy emphasis on classical elements), yet his informal work showed a heavy leaning towards Impressionism. After training in Paris, Sargent suffered a serious scandal at the outset of his career after submitting 'Portrait of Madame X' to the Paris Salon, in reality a portrait of Parisian socialite Virginie Gautreau (famous for her clout and affairs). The portrait, which Sargent would later in life call "my best work," garnered so much criticism at the time that Virginie retired from public life for awhile, and Sargent had no choice but to migrate his career to London. Much later in life he shifted away from portrait work, often complaining of the constraints of the work, and shifted to vivid watercolors that were known for evoking dreamlike qualities. He traveled extensively during this phase of life, painting scenes from the world over, from Venice to the murky swamplands of the American south.



Includes a border on all sides to allow for matting and framing.